See "Book about the life of HMS Veteran, 'The Proudest of Her Line' for a different view.
(Search for "HMS Veteran" to learn more)
I have found your site whilst trying to find out information about the Yorktown, which was sunk 26/09/1942 in convoy RB1. My father was Chief Officer on the Yorktown, and the only officer to survive, along with a few other crew members. He never spoke of the Yorktown, although my mother told me that he had been on a raft for three days before being picked up. He only ever mentioned his antics in hospital after his rescue. Dad's name was Harold Leslie Papworth. Somewhere in amongst my mothers effects are a couple of (blurred) photos of the men on the raft before they were picked up. they seem to have been taken from the rescue vessel.
Do you have any information on the Yorktown? Most of the references I can find on the web seem to be for an aircraft carrier, which has to be the wrong vessel.
USS Yorktown was a famous American aircraft carrier in the Pacific War, but your
Yorktown was a small British Steam freighter, built in 1928 of 1,547 tons. She was part of Convoy RB1 which had sailed from Baltimore and St Johns, Halifax bound for the United
Kingdom. A number of ships in the convoy were shallow draft, Great Lake Steamers.
Convoy RB 1 was attacked by U-91, U-619, and U-404 over the 25th. and 26th. of September 1942 SS Boston was the first victim at 1637 ( 4.37 PM ) on the 25th, sunk by U-216, next to be sunk was SS New York at 2337 (11.37 PM ) on the same day by U-91. Come the 26th. one of the escorts HMS Veteran fell to U-404 at 1026 ( 10.26 AM ) in position 54 51 N, 23.05 W, all hands were lost including some merchant ship sailors who had been rescued by the destroyer the previous day. That same evening, U-619 accounted for SS Yorktown at 2325 ( 11.25 PM ) of her crew of 78, 18 were killed in this attack.
U-Boat, U-619 which had been launched on the 9th. of March in 1942, and Commissioned on the 23rd. of April the same year, had but two kills.
On the 24th. of September 1942, she accounted for the 7,176 ton John Winthrop from Convoy ON 131, and then your Father's ship two days later.
This U-Boat was herself sunk by 4 depth charges from a British Hudson Aircraft on the 5th.of October in 1942, South West of Iceland. Her total crew of 44 died.
Shelagh, I hope this helps you in a small way. Should you be able to find a photo of the men on a raft, and could E-Mail me a copy, we would put it up on AHOY.
One never knows who may find it when they make a visit to our site, it could help some one who had a relative in RB1.
There are quite a few photo's, all appear to have been taken from the rescue ship, and all are stamped on the back in purple ink with the legend "PASSED FOR TRANSMISSION THROUGH THE POST (NOT FOR PUBLICATION)" also on the stamp is "SECURITY OFFICER H.M. SHIP". The signature looks like H J Lee Lt.
The distance photo's show two craft in the water which are hard to identify, close ups show one or two lifeboats with several men in them, and the raft that my father was on, which shows him and possibly seven others. Dad (Harold Leslie Papworth) is the one sitting in the middle of the photo, with his back to what could possibly be a limp sail?
I suppose by now that the "not for publication" can be ignored. Do you want me to send copies of the others? there are 9 in all, including the one of Dad's raft.
I'm really pleased that you have found the photos interesting, I'm just amazed that they have survived many house moves. It would be great to find out which ship rescued them, and who took the pictures.
I'm going to have to take another trip to London to try and find out.
I'm going to have a look at your site now, I'm so glad I found it. Maybe someone out in the rest of the world knows more about RB1 and who else survived from Yorktown.
Do you have an email address for Shelagh who wrote to your regarding her father Harold Leslie Papworth (Chief Officer ) SS Yorktown, as I would like to contact her as my Grandfather - Albert Howat was the chief steward on the Yorktown.
Many thanks in advance
Could you please add this list from Billy Mc Gee. Ian Howat's grandfather is in this list.
Read the article regarding the loss of the laker ship Yorktown sunk on the 26th September 1942. Someone was wanting to know which ship picked up the survivors. It was the British destroyer HMS SARDONYX.
ASTLE, Able Seaman, FRANK, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 36.
DA CRUZ, Fireman, JAMES SIDNEY, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 22. Son of Manuel and Rose Da Cruz; husband of Hilda Mary Da Cruz, of Cardiff.
DUNN, Able Seaman, ADAM, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. (Canadian)
EVERITT, Fireman, GEORGE, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 30. Son of Thomas Carter Everitt and Alice Everitt.
HODSON, Able Seaman, JOHN JOSEPH, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 25. Son of John and Margaret Hodson, of Kirkdale, Liverpool.
HOWAT, Chief Steward, ALBERT, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 35. Husband of Gladys I. Howat, of West Kensington, London.
JOHNSON, Fireman, ARTHUR, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 20. Son of Arthur L. and Elizabeth Johnson, of Bitterne, Southampton.
MADDOCKS, Greaser, JAMES, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 59. Hushand of Rose Ann Maddocks.
MAXWELL, Fireman, JOHN, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 54.
MORGAN, Assistant Steward, JOSEPH, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 34. Son of Oswald and Elizabeth Jane Morgan, of South Hetton, Co. Durham.
MURPHY, Greaser, JAMES MICHAEL, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 65. Son of James and Catherine Murphy, of Liverpool.
McGOVERN, Greaser, PATRICK, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 44. Son of Charles and Rose McGovern; husband of Catherine McGovern, of Liverpool.
McLACHLAN, First Radio Officer, DONALD, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 37.
PARTINGTON, Second Officer, WILLIAM STEPHEN, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 26. Son of William Hobson Partington and Nellie Partington; husband of Mary Hazel Partington, of Southport, Lancashire. Master Mariner, Merchant Navy.
RICHARDSON, Fourth Engineer Officer, JOHN JAMES, S.S. Yorktown. Merchant Navy. 26th September 1942. Age 29.
Royal Navy Gunner
SUTTON, Able Seaman, MARTIN, D/JX 289206. H.M.S. President III. Royal Navy. lost in S.S. Yorktown. 26th September 1942. Age 35. Son of George William and Beatrice Sutton; husband of Olive Gladys Sutton, of Framingham Earl, Norfolk
Hi Mac, some more info on Derk Armitage Lee of HMS SARDOYX who signed the pics from Shelagh....He was as I said RNVR but he was an American Citizen and by joining the RN BEFORE PEARL HARBOR, ie before USA entered the war, he risked...a $10,000 fine...Six months in Jail,....Loss of his American Citizenship ...if he returned to the USA...I am attaching 2 pics of a Memorial Stone in The Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London, They are both mine so no problem reprinting, which a Friend and I placed in memory of these brave Seamen...We also made sure that the 'White Ensign' flies again in the ORNC as it was taken down when the college became part of London University....He (Lee) reached Lieutenant Commander, I have his service history if anyone would like to contact me. Also like an idiot I put the C/O of Sardonyx down as RN when in fact he was RNVR...Sorry about that....Thanks for your help, What a great site....Would you be interested in anything about my friend KK OTTO Von Bulow who died last Jan?....
Hi Mac, As promised the record of Lt Derek Armitage Lee ships security officer on HMS SARDONYX when they picked up the survivors from Yorktown...
Attached to HMS Ferret (Londonderry) June July 1941
HMS Sardonyx 26:August:1941
HMS BRAITHWAITE July 1943
HMS SAKER 19:December:1943
Acting Temporary Lieutenant Commander October 1944 still in Saker
Released from Naval service spring 1946
Hope this is of interest......
Psalm 107 v 23 - 24
WREXHAM, LL13 9RB
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